Jose Pablo Ortiz Partida

Western States Climate Scientist

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Pablo Ortiz is a Western states climate and water scientist for the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He plans, designs, and carries out primary analysis on how changing climate patterns are impacting key sectors and populations in West Coast states, especially with regards to precipitation and water supply changes. Dr. Ortiz also works on developing strategies for vulnerable sectors and populations in California to cope and adapt to the current and projected impacts of climate change, particularly related to water impacts.

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A drought-stricken soybean field in Texas

The World Is in a Water Crisis and Climate Change Is Making it Worse

The World Resources Institute (WRI) updated its Global Water Risk Atlas revealing that 17 countries–home of a quarter of the world’s population–will face “extremely high” water stress within 20 years. Water stress is defined as the ratio between water withdrawals (i.e., domestic, agricultural, and industrial water uses) and available renewable water supplies. Risk categories of ‘high’ and ‘extremely high’ water stress are reached when yearly withdrawals exceed 40 percent and 80 percent of available renewable water supplies, respectively.

Some readers may remember last year when Cape Town was approaching ‘day zero’, the day when municipal water supplies were going dry. Depending on where you live, some might have wondered “how long until that happens to us?” Read more >

Photo: Bob Nichols, USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
https://www.wri.org/aqueduct
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